- Round Island skink
name = Round Island skink
status = VU
status_system = iucn2.3
genus = "
species = "L. telfairii"
binomial = "Leiolopisma telfairii"
binomial_authority = Desjardins,
The Round Island skink or Telfair's skink ("Leiolopisma telfairii"), is a species of
skinkendemic to Round Island (Mauritius). Other members of the genus Leiolopismaoccur on New Caledoniaand New Zealandbut the Round Island skink is closely related to the two extinct Mascarenes taxa, "L. mauritiana" from Mauritius and "L. ceciliae" from Réunion. It is named after Charles Edward Telfair, the founder of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences of Mauritius.
It reaches a length between 30 and 40 cm. The body is general brownish grey mottled with dark brown spots. The small scales exhibit a rainbow-coloured shimmer when the sunlight is reflected on them. The body is approximately cylinder-shaped. It can cast its relatively long tail during a fight or to escape capture; the tail is regenerated after a while. Their short but vigorous legs are used to dig burrows.
tatus and conservation
This species was once numerous on Mauritius and offshore islands like Flat Island. Due to habitat destruction and introduced species like goats, black rats and rabbits it was only confined to Round Island since the mid of the 19th century. When
Gerald Durrellvisited Round Island in the 1970s, 5000 specimens were recorded as surviving. He brought some specimens to the Jersey Zooto build up a captive breeding program. Thanks to the eradication of the goats and rabbits on Round Island the increasing of the Round Island skink population was so successful that it was possible to relocate them to other islands like Gunner's Quoin and the Ile aux Aigrettes.
* (2006): Using ancient and recent DNA to explore relationships of extinct and endangered "Leiolopisma" skinks (Reptilia: Scincidae) in the Mascarene islands. "Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution" 39(2): 503–511. doi|10.1016/j.ympev.2005.12.011 (HTML abstract)
*|year=1996|id=11409|title=Leiolopisma telfairii|downloaded=17 Jul 2007 Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable.
*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/GES/reptiles/Leiolopisma_telfairii/ images and movies of the Round Island skink "(Leiolopisma telfairii)"]
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